It is not only the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas Day, but it is the World Day for Consecrated Life. Pope Francis has asked everyone to pray for all religious throughout the world who profess vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience and who, by our very lives, witness to the Gospel and, in the words of the Holy Father, “radiate to the world the love of Christ”. This is one of the Feasts throughout the year when we formally renew our vows just before Communion, enkindling anew our desire to lay down our lives for Christ in His Priest.
We also mark this day as the end of our observance of the Christmas season by taking down the nativity scenes we have kept up to remind of those precious first forty days of the Infant Jesus’ life on earth. It is the day we have the blessing of the candles and we, even in our tiny Chapel, have a candle-lit procession after Benediction. The last hint of Christmas were the instrumental strains of “What Child Is This?” that our organist provided as a post Communion meditation.
In this fast paced world, this is an easy Feast for people to miss. But remember how long Simeon and Anna waited in faith and hope for the arrival of their King in the Temple. It is a Feast worth keeping.